AMONG the drug suspects who yielded to the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Director General Ronald de la Rosa on Monday, police consider Franz Sabalones as their biggest catch that day.
Chief Supt. Roel Obusan, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group director, told reporters in a chance interview in Camp Crame in Quezon City that Sabalones gave out a lot of valuable information.
“He is the best that we got yesterday [Monday]. He gave us a lot of information,” Obusan said in Filipino on Tuesday.
While his name was not included in the drug list bared on Sunday by President Rodrigo Duterte, Sabalones is considered the biggest drug lord in Central Visayas after the death of his former boss, drug kingpin Jeffrey ‘Jaguar’ Diaz.
About 50 out of the 163 mentioned on the Duterte list that named mayors, lawmakers, judges and members of the PNP as drug suspects turned up at the police main headquarters in compliance with the President’s directive.
Obusan said their investigators were overwhelmed by the valuable information and good leads that Sabalones gave, which he described as a fatal blow to drug operations in his turf.
The investigation of Sabalones lasted for more than 10 hours during which he also revealed names of policemen protecting illegal drugs in his area.
On Monday, the PNP chief said Sabalones confessed that he had been giving P200,000 “weekly payola” to a police colonel in Cebu whom the police director declined to identify.
The police colonel, de la Rosa added, has been transferred to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Regional Police Office.
De la Rosa also revealed to the members of the media on Monday that Sabalones was Diaz’s underling who later broke away from the drug kingpin’s group, directly dealing with Peter Co, a Chinese drug lord detained at the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila).
Diaz was killed in an anti-narcotics operation in Las Piñas City (Metro Manila) in June 2016.